The biggest surprise about Shark Side of the Moon is that, in a genre that’s already seen Sharks of the Corn, Sharkula, Ouija Shark, and even Shark Encounters of the Third Kind, it took so long for someone to use the title. What shouldn’t be so surprising is that it was The Asylum that did it and it makes its bow as a Tubi Original, part of Bitefest, the streaming service’s Shark Month.
During the Cold War, the Soviets were experimenting with human/shark hybrids at a launch facility. As is usually the case in these situations the experimental creatures got free. In a desperate bid to keep them from reaching the ocean, Sergey (Ego Mikitas, Blowback, The Handler) lured them onto a shuttle and took them on a one-way trip to the moon.
Forty years later Commander Nicole Tress (Maxi Witrak, Sex, and the Future, Stage Fright) is leading a crew that includes Liam (Terrance Livingston Jr., JoJo & Pitt ), Josie (Lydia Hunter, The Book of Truth), and Owen (Michael Deni, T-Rex Ranch, Tankhouse) on a mission back to the moon when something attacks the ship.
Forced to crash on the moon’s farside they’re about to find out that not only can sharks survive on the moon, they can build cities and advanced technology, including weapons. They’ll also find that Sergey survived as well and has a human-looking shark hybrid daughter Akuka (Tania Fox, Attack of the Unknown, Choke).
Shark Side of the Moon was directed by the team that gave us Planet Dune, Glenn Campbell, and Tammy Klein which is a very bad omen. And the script by Ryan Ebert (Tales of a Fifth Grade Robin Hood, Apocalypse of Ice) and Anna Rasmussen (Jurassic School, Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys) doesn’t give them any help.
What passes for Shark Side of the Moon’s plot is, to put it mildly, ludicrous. Characters walk around on the moon’s surface with just a breathing tube in their nose ignoring the temperature and pressure differences that would kill a human without a suit. How did the sharks build a high-tech city, complete with weapons that can bring down a spaceship out of moon rocks?
I’d compare Shark Side of the Moon to a 1950s science fiction film except the effects don’t measure up. The green screen shots of characters on the moon’s surface are as bad as anything you would see in The Amazing Colossal Man or The Giant Gila Monster. The shark creatures themselves are either actors in very unconvincing suits or rendered by even worse CGI. Nobody expects great effects from The Asylum, but this is a whole new level of bad, made somewhat ironic by the fact Campbell was an award-winning effects artist before deciding to make a living off of crappy cash-ins.
Shark Side of the Moon isn’t even unintentionally funny. Watching the actors trying to replicate the astronauts bouncing lunar walk is absolutely painful. The shark’s Tzarina (voiced by Natasha Goubskaya, The Russian Bride, Mile 22) has plenty of Bond villain-style dialogue, but rather than being amusingly campy it’s poorly written and made even worse by being delivered by a poorly animated shark.
Both The Asylum and Tubi Originals have well-deserved reputations for being mostly crap with the occasional low-budget gem mixed in and films like Shark Side of the Moon are the reason why. This is one only the most devoted of Asylum fans will find amusing, everyone else is in for a viewing experience even a bottle of vodka won’t be able to help.
Shark Side of the Moon is a Tubi original and free to watch wherever the service is available. Others can consider themselves lucky they don’t have to worry about encountering it. And if you’re looking for something else to sink your teeth into, FilmTagger has some suggestions.